|Statewatch article: RefNo# 36308
|Statewatch News Online, April 2016
|- MSF treats hundreds after Greek-FYROM border violence (MSF, link): "On 10 April, after the violent events at the border between Greece and FYROM, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) medical teams treated hundreds including around 40 people injured by rubber bullets. At least ten people have reported to MSF teams that they were beaten by FYROM police.
Two extra mobile medical teams were added to the normal activities in Idomeni camp to assist the growing number of people in the camp.
"Today, frustration and a growing feeling of anger are spread among the refugees who have been stranded in Idomeni for over one month. What we see is the inevitable result of thousands being trapped in Greece, a country unable to respond to the humanitarian and protection needs of those in search of safety in Europe,” stated Jose Hulsenbek, MSF’s Head of Mission in Greece. "What people need is to be treated with dignity, not violence or unpredictable border closures and more uncertainty. This absurd humanitarian crisis created by European states’ policies is becoming more unbearable by the day.”"
And see: Macedonian police teargas, pepper spray refugees at Greek border: Who supplied the "crowd control" equipment? (Statewatch News Online)
- Joint declaration of the prime ministers of Greece and Portugal - 11 April 2016 (pdf): Statement on three themes: 1. A European response to the refugee and migration crisis; 2. European Economic and Monetary Union; 3. Peace and stability in our broader region. On refugee and migration policy it says:
"We believe that the building of walls and fences, the unilateral and uncoordinated implementation of measures or the unwillingness to participate in commonly agreed actions, such as resettlement and relocation schemes, undermine European solidarity as well as the humane and effective management of migrant flows.
Europe must remain open to hosting people in need of international protection, by replacing dangerous, irregular migration routes with legal processes of resettlement of refugees from countries neighboring Syria and by accelerating the relocation processes of refugees already in Greece and Italy. At the same time, the EU must enhance efforts to establish readmission agreements with the countries of origin of economic immigrants."
- After Return: documenting the experiences of young people forcibly removed to Afghanistan (Right to Remain, link): "2,018 young men who spent their formative teenage years in the UK care system have been sent back to Afghanistan over the past 9 years, often to very precarious and dangerous situations.
Since March 2014, Refugee Support Network (RSN) has been systematically monitoring what happens to former child asylum seekers who have been forcibly removed to Afghanistan after turning 18. After Return – published on 5th April at the Institute of Education – documents their experiences and, for the first time, fills a vital evidence gap in their education, employment, health and wellbeing outcomes."
See also: Deported to persecution: The Home Office's Eritrean programme (politics.co.uk, link): "It was roughly twelve months after 31-year-old Gebre Berhane (not his real name) escaped Eritrea that the letter came through from the Home Office. He'd already lost 13 years of his life to forced military service and faced the threat of a regime which he says kidnapped his father turning on him. Berhane was sure his request for asylum would be accepted and his nightmare would come to an end."
- Deported migrants call for freedom from behind barred windows (euronews, link): "Some 325 migrants have been deported to Turkey from the Greek island of Lesbos under an EU deal.
They wait to learn of their fate inside a fenced reception and removal centre in the town of Pehlivankoy. The United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) says it has yet to gain access to the facility.
Migrants from Pakistan, Egypt, Afghanistan and Iraq call for freedom from behind the facility’s barred windows.
They were deported from Lesbos on Friday (April 8) under the controversial EU-Turkey deal to stem mass irregular migration to Europe."
- EU-AUSTRIA: How will the Austrian presidential elections influence EU's (migration) policy and TTIP? (VoteWatch Europe, pdf): "Austrians will vote for a new President on 24 April. The race is very tight, as the migration crisis is substantially impacting the national political landscape. A victory of a candidate from outside the current grand coalition would seriously undermine the government's policies. The nationalist anti-immigration and anti-EU FPÖ is on the rise and pushes hard to be part of the government."
- News (4.4.16)
EU-TURKEY: The First Migrants Deported Back to Turkey Under an E.U. Deal Face an Uncertain Future (Time, link): "The men stepping off the boat carried few belongings: a backpack, a blanket, a light jacket. Escorted by uniformed officials, they walked one by one down a gangplank lined on both sides by police officers, into the control of the Turkish immigration authorities.
They were among 45 Pakistani men sent by boat to Turkey from Greece on Friday morning, making them some of the first people deported under a Turkish-European agreement intended to halt the historic wave of migrants seeking to enter Europe by sea. A reported 124 people were scheduled to be deported on Friday from Greek islands under the agreement, which calls for migrants arriving in Greece via the informal sea route to be returned to Turkey. After surviving the potentially lethal crossing from Turkey to Greece across the Aegean Sea—a journey that took the lives of hundreds of migrants last year—all of them are now back in Turkey."
EU aid an ineffective tool to end the migration crisis (EurActiv, link): "Since the beginning of the refugee crisis, the EU has announced a host of measures aimed at bringing the situation under control. Europe’s development assistance budget, the largest international aid pot in the world, has so far made up a large share of the financial shortfall. But the results of similar action in the past have not always met expectations."
Fewer than 0.1% of Syrians in Turkey in line for work permits (The Guardian, link): "Fewer than 0.1% of Syrians in Turkey currently stand to gain the right to work under much-vaunted Turkish labour laws, undermining EU claims that the legislation excuses a recent decision to deport Syrian asylum-seekers back to Turkey.
Turkish employers have allowed roughly 2,000 – or 0.074% – of Turkey’s 2.7 million Syrians to apply for work permits under new legislation enacted two months ago, according to government figures provided to aid workers at a meeting in late March. The number of permits granted has not yet been disclosed."
Greek Politician Says Closing Borders Would Keep the 'Enemy' Inside (Sputnik News, link): "The migration crisis is a test that will show the level of Europe's stability, Greek government spokeswoman Olga Gerovasili told Sputnik Express Greek-language radio program.
"Europe today is being tested for stability. There are countries that have closed the borders, believing that by doing so, they will run away from the so-called enemy. The truth is that if an enemy, whatever enemy, exists they shut [the enemy] inside by closing the borders," Gerovasili said."
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